Doubting she would be able to visit her motherland whatever be the outcome of elections there, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has appealed to the Indian government to grant her citizenship or permanent resident status.
"To live like a writer I cannot shift elsewhere. Here (India) I can meet my own people, converse with them in my own language, the language for expressing my thoughts. The government can help me live as a writer," she said.
The writer, who was earlier given a six-month residential permit valid till February 17 said she hoped that the appeal made to the Foreigners' Registration Office in December for a six-month permit extension from February would be granted.
"I can then concentrate on my writing. Let us see," Taslima, who has also lived in Sweden, Germany and France, said. "I am also loved by people in Europe but Kolkata holds a special place for me." Asked if she wished to return to her home in Bangladesh, which she was forced to leave in 1994 with fundamentalists issuing death threats against her after her book Lajja invited their wrath, she said, "That does not seem to be possible as there will not be much change in the socio-political situation in Bangladesh."
"All major parties - ruling and opposition - will not risk antagonising the fundamentalists, who are holding sway in Bangladesh politics at present. Both BNP and Awami League want to keep such groups in good humour," she said.